The U.S. navy is reporting that one of its re-supply ships, the USNS Rappahannock, was forced to open fire on a small boat that got to close to the ship, killing one and injuring three others. The incident happened about 10 miles from the Jebel Ali port, and 22 miles from Dubai. It is the world's largest man made port with 67 berths and extensive dry dock facilities.
The Navy said that the USNS Rappahannock warned the small boat that was approaching, which officials have described as a pleasure boat, and then fired a warning shot after it made a series of maneuvers to maintain its course, but the boat continued to get as close as 1,200 yards.
"In accordance with Navy force protection procedures, the sailors on the USNS Rappahannock ... used a series of non-lethal, preplanned responses to warn the vessel before resorting to lethal force," the Navy said in a statement.
"The U.S. crew repeatedly attempted to warn the vessel's operators to turn away from their deliberate approach. When those efforts failed to deter the approaching vessel, the security team on the Rappahannock fired rounds from a .50-caliber machine gun."
Some security experts have commented that it may have been a dry run by would be terrorist trying to find out how the Navy would respond when a small boat gets to close.
[File Photo: USNS Rappahannock, Courtesy the U.S. Navy]